Small manufacturers show off skills - Makers of craft, oils get exposure through inaugural MoBay Market
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
THE PRESENCE of rain clouds over Montego Bay was not enough to dampen the spirits of small manufacturers who came to showcase their wares at the inaugural Montego Bay Market on Gloucester Avenue recently.
Approximately 18 small manufacturers had their products on display at the event, which was coordinated by the reigning St James Festival Queen, Trudy-Ann Hylton, as her parish project to impact the local community. Items on display included hand-made quilts and clothes, handbags and small accessories, art pieces, natural hair-oils, and natural foods.
"I realised, in my experience living here, that we have quite a number of persons producing and manufacturing within the parish (of St James), but many of them were struggling because persons did not know about them, and so they could not support them," said Hylton, in explaining how she got the idea for the Montego Bay Market.
"I figured this was a way to show them (small manufacturers) to the public, and to show the residents in Montego Bay that these are the persons within the parish who are producing and manufacturing, and that we should support them," Hylton added.
"Many of these persons have 9-to-5 jobs, and for some of them, this is their way of making a living. It is just to help them out, to show them off, to expose them, and to highlight them."
START OF SOMETHING GREAT
Western regional coordinator of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, Natalie Morris, lauded Hylton's initiative in organising the event, while summarising preliminary reviews of the venture.
"After walking around and evaluating the exhibitors, I am really impressed with the displays, and all of them, or 90 per cent of them, are from Montego Bay ... . The diversity of products is impressive, and also that the persons (exhibitors) are born and operating out of this parish," said a beaming Morris.
"The fact that it (Montego Bay Market) is implemented is a start, and I think it is the start of something great," Morris continued. "I have been talking to different patrons who have been coming from church and running in to see what is going on ... . One of the patrons remarked that she hopes it is not the first and last time that we are doing this. I think the Festival Queen, Trudy-Ann Hylton, must be commended for this initiative."